I have always been fascinated by the thought of being bi-lingual or even multilingual. It's quite funny actually. Whenever I saw someone speaking a language unknown to my ears, I always looked and listened intently in absolute wonder and admiration.
What a skill it is to be able to converse in a different tongue! It is almost like a super-power.
Therefore, I set out to learn a new language myself. I put it as a goal, although not knowing how I might immediately achieve it. However, the problem that I faced with learning languages is that many of the courses advertised seemed quite pricy. Do not get me wrong- some of those courses are really excellent. Yet, I knew I wanted to go down my language-learning path at little cost or better still, for free.
Then I stumbled upon Duolingo. I had been searching very hard online to find a course that would suit my needs. I became very excited when I read about the app and figured out what it was all about. I found this promise:
'Learn languages completely free, without ads, or hidden charges. It's fun, easy and scientifically proven.'
Which language -lover wouldn’t be thrilled at such prospects?!
I mean Free language education for the world! So I tried it out, desperately hoping that it would not be good to be true.
What happened? I instantly fell in love with Duolingo. It is a clever app and it lays things out quite simply. You can start with absolutely no knowledge or language learning experience at all, and you will be completely fine.
There is a beautiful range of languages to choose from: Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, German, Turkish, Irish, Italian, Swedish, Danish, Esperanto, Norwegian, Ukrainian and English.
To be honest, I just checked the languages available and it is practically double the size from when I started. There is quite a lot to choose from, as you can see. You have free access to some of the world's major languages.
Can you guess what language I started learning first? Let me tell you….Italian. Italian is one language I have always been really attracted to. It is a language that appeals to my ears and heart, it just sounds wonderful.
Mind you, I love so many other languages. Nevertheless, I thought that Italian would be a fantastic language to start with. Yes, I said start with. I have plans to go through on my language-learning journey for as long as possible! ( I have also had a go at Dutch, Portuguese, German, French, and Spanish but only briefly. I have chosen to focus on Italian for now.)
So I selected the option to learn Italian and within days I was hooked. The software is very interactive and smart so it makes learning languages a joy. In fact, I almost viewed it as a game. I would work and work until I got the translation right.
The format of Duolingo has changed a bit since I first started but I am loving it even more after each update. There are many levels in each language.
You start with the basics obviously, then you have a chance to pick up some very useful and interesting phrases. You learn how to describe food, animals, clothing, places, travel, directions, occupations, the different tenses, and many other fascinating details.
There is so much to absorb, but it is spread out. Do not worry about being overwhelmed. The course is very nicely paced. You can choose to do it at your own time. It is really a rich experience though, you learn phrases that come very handy in real situations and you learn how to adapt to different situations.
There are a variety of ways to learn on Duolingo. Most of the exercises are based on translating words and sentences back and forth from Italian-English. (Just as you would rightly expect from a language learning software. This is what you really need to grasp the words nicely.)
I appreciate the variety and the many methods Duolingo presents, that help you be able to understand, speak, write and identify the language of your choice.
One of the newest methods that has been introduced is matching activities. I am quite fond of this new activity. Repetition is the way to success, and this is another tool to make sure you are sinking all that language goodness in.
Now I was talking about the changes that Duolingo has undergone in the time I have been using it.
But here is what I love about the latest version - it allows you to practice until you get brilliant before you move on. You never have to feel like a failure! You work until you get results. What wonderful practice methods!
The levels in duolingo are arranged in a tree, and the goal is to get right to the bottom where you will find a trophy in the shape of the duolingo icon. I never imagined I would reach it, but I did a couple of months ago.
The feeling is amazing. It is extremely rewarding to complete a tree. You reach a landmark, a special achievement. Duolingo also gives you the chance to build up points (called lingots) along the way and you can spend them on cool virtual gadgets in the lingot store. (No actual money required).
Here is one final thing I love about Duolingo - it is so informative about your progress. You can access Duolingo on a PC, mobile phone or tablet.
There are also features that allow you to discuss, ask questions and get answers from the duolingo community.
Immersion is a section of the Duolingo website where users practice the language they are learning by helping to translate real-world documents from that language to another language.
So my friends that is how you can learn a language free on Duolingo. I am loving my journey, and still can't believe I haven't paid a penny!
I would totally recommend that all my readers try duolingo! And guess what, you don’t have to make a new password, you can sign up with Google or Facebook.
Thank you for reading my page on learning a language free. Comment below if you can speak more than one language or if you have tried duolingo! I would love to hear your experiences!
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